Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
I shouldn’t be alive.
The thought is morbid, in a way, but it’s true. It wasn’t long after my parents had gotten engaged that my father had to eject from his Air Force fighter jet.
On a routine training mission in Virginia, fireballs had exploded off his engines and he was tumbling in his plane toward the ocean floor. Not only that, but his ejection handle was stuck. He realized that that was it – he was going to die.
But, he didn’t.
The only way to describe it is a miracle. At a very low altitude, his ejection handle finally gave in, and he punched through a fireball and free fell toward the ocean.
He had been so low in the sky that his parachute didn’t even deploy. But he was alive.
My father was treading water with broken vision and broken bones until he finally got his emergency life raft open. It took 2 ½ hours for a Coast Guard helicopter to find him, which they did, noticing him from a single flare he had with him.
My dad shouldn’t have survived that accident. But he did, and he married my mom and they had three children.
Decades earlier, my grandfather had had a military training accident of his own. When he was a Navy flight instructor, a Marine student of his made a fatal cockpit error. In the days before ejection seats, my grandfather crash landed that aircraft into some pine trees.
Miraculously, they both survived.
My grandfather married my grandmother and they had three children – including that one son who later had an aircraft accident of his own.
If I ever doubt that I am willed or wanted on this earth, I remember these stories.
The Lord saved my grandfather and my father. If he wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t exist.
I reminds me that I am chosen, I am willed, I am overwhelmingly loved.
In today’s first reading Moses is giving the Israelites a reminder of their own.
“Did a people ever hear the voice of God
speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live?”
No, they hadn’t. They were the first.
“For love of your fathers he chose their descendants
and personally led you out of Egypt by his great power,
driving out of your way nations greater and mightier than you, so as to bring you in and to make their land your heritage, as it is today.”
The Israelites were God’s chosen people. They were chosen. They were willed. They were overwhelmingly loved.
Today let’s reflect on the fact that YOU also are chosen. You also are willed. You also are loved in excruciating abundance.
The Lord wants you to keep his commandments, as he instructed the Israelites, and he wants to bless you and help you fare well.
“… That you and your children after you may prosper,
and that you may have long life on the land
which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever."
May we have gratitude.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Do you ever think about the many events that had to happen in the past to ensure that you were born?
Do you ever consider your life an 'accident' or 'meaningless'?
Have you asked your parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles about some of the most harrowing events of your family's past?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"I am chosen."
"I am loved."
"I have a purpose."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Write down some of the events that have occurred in your family's past that make up your personal history. Use these in prayer today to remember that you're not an accident, you're here on purpose, and you are being called to do something that only you can do!
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Today's prayer was prepared by Andrea Scott, a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.
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